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Criminal Charges Against Speed Trap Tweeter

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the flashing-your-lights-is-now-passe dept.

Social Networks 253

martinlp writes "A Twitter account named Pigspotter is making big news in South Africa. The traffic authorities in Johannesburg are taking legal action against Pigspotter, an individual who is tweeting up-to-the-minute information about speed traps in and around the city. He has recently stopped, stating that his Blackberry is going in for repairs, but it may be out of fear of getting prosecuted. The police claim he must be getting inside information and suspect that disgruntled traffic officers may be involved. There is also speculation that it is more than one individual that is tweeting."

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But how precise is it? (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 4 years ago | (#33625194)

Police here in Victoria, Australia actively encourage the publication of speed camera locations, which are not particularly precise. So radio stations can report that there is a speed camera on $HIGHWAY without saying exactly where it is and drivers slow down all along that route.

Now if you tell the public exactly where the speed camera is (1km past $CROSSROAD) then the camera could be moved by the time you get there, or you might get the location wrong, or forget by the time you get there. So giving out the precise location might not save the drivers from a ticket and again they just have to slow down and keep a look out.

What the police might not like is a distributed iphone or android app which broadcasts their location in real time and presents it on a map showing your location. You could have "Police Camera" button on the screen and press it after you go past. But the information is going to get stale fast and police could game the system with cheap decoy speed traps.

Re:But how precise is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625258)

you mean like Trapster (www.trapster.com) ?

Re:But how precise is it? (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about 4 years ago | (#33625282)

It's not about safety. It's about money. Speed traps are designed to trick people into a spot where revenue generation occurs.

There's a spot I know of ~100 miles north of me where a highway marked at 65 off-ramps onto another highway marked at 60. The change in speed isn't marked at the top of the ramp, however, but 3 miles down the road instead. Local sheriffs LOVE to sit at the top of the hill and watch for people doing 65-70, who don't know about the speed change, and then cite them tickets.

Likewise, my city has a bunch of redlight cameras. And non-coincidentally, right after installing them, someone noticed they could issue a lot more fines if they shortened the yellow light time, despite every available study showing that safety is improved with longer yellow times. They are now getting sued and it's going up to the state supreme court because they shortened the things to .25 seconds below the state required timing in order to beef up ticket revenue, AND they made them "civil fines" rather than actual ticket infractions to try to get around a state law prohibiting cities from getting more than a certain percentage of their funding from traffic fines (a law, ironically enough, passed because of certain little shit-pot one-stoplight towns that were running traffic scams left and right and getting 80-90% of their revenue from issuing insane tickets to out-of-towners).

Of course, the major problem here is that police - pretty much all of them - are corrupt. They start them on traffic duty, set a ticket quota, tell them to issue tickets by hook or by crook. If they don't meet quota, they get their income screwed with, they don't get a chance at overtime hours, or they get lousy performance reviews. By the time they graduate from issuing traffic tickets any semblance of honor, integrity, or respect for the general population has long ago been trained out of them in favor of the "fuck it, ticket them, cuff them, they're all guilty of something anyways" attitude.

Show me an honest cop today, and I'll show you a flying pig doing cartwheels next to a unicorn.

Re:But how precise is it? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625312)

It's not about safety. It's about money. Speed traps are designed to trick people into a spot where revenue generation occurs.

Speed traps are set up in spots where assholes like you drive balls to the wall every fucking day. They'll keep knocking you down until you can drive the same speed as the rest of society, or have your license taken away. Go to a track an get it out of your system already. Kart racing is pretty fun.

Re:But how precise is it? (3, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 4 years ago | (#33625382)

"Speed traps are set up in spots where assholes like you drive balls to the wall every fucking day."

No, they're set up ONLY at places where there's lots of revenue to be made. I mean, they've literally stopped running red light cameras on intersections because "it's not generating enough revenue". The LAST thing they care about is keeping the public safe. You cannot install a redlight or speed camera under the premise of "keeping things safe" and ethically remove it with the answer of "it's not generating revenue".

Re:But how precise is it? (4, Interesting)

penguinchris (1020961) | about 4 years ago | (#33625406)

I know I shouldn't feed an anonymous troll but that's bullshit. Speed traps as you seem to define them are reasonable - those are when police cars sit on the highway in plain sight and pull over people going unsafely fast or otherwise driving recklessly. The rest of us define speed traps as the ones where the police set up camp in a place where people are guaranteed to be speeding because either the speed limits are set too low or change without being marked changed (as in the parent's example) or for other reasons.

I got a speeding ticket a few years ago for going slightly faster than traffic flow (which was already about 10 over the limit)... because I was passing a line of trucks, and was at the bottom of a *huge* hill where everyone inadvertently speeds up - which is right where the police car was waiting. That's a speed trap, and the police set up in those areas to make money, plain and simple. If they were doing their job of keeping the road safe by pulling over people who are actually driving dangerously, no one would complain about them.

It's true that there are assholes who drive balls to the wall every fucking day, as you eloquently put it, and those people should be pulled over. One doesn't have to be that kind of driver to find major reasons to complain about speed traps, though.

Re:But how precise is it? (2, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33625518)

You, sir, are a tool. Speeding tickets are all about revenues. I drove over the road for years. I signed a lot of tickets. In my own experience, roughly 1/3 of them were BOGUS. I've read many reports and studies over the years that pretty much support my own experience. Some of them have claimed 20% bogus tickets, others have claimed more than half. All of them COULD be right, depending on when and where the studies and reports originated. I've showed up in court, beat the ticket, only to have the judge tell me that I had to pay a "processing fee" or some such nonsense. In New Mexico, tickets are pretty cheap, but if you go to court, you WILL pay that fine, in one way or another. I've also seen tickets "kept off the record", if you're willing to cough up extra money. That is completely illegal according to FEDERAL law, but it doesn't stop local courts from collecting that graft - errrr - REVENUE! If you are interested in highway safety, you might investigate the "85th percentile" that traffic engineers use to determine safe speed limits. Everything else is a money making scheme.

Re:But how precise is it? (5, Insightful)

Yetihehe (971185) | about 4 years ago | (#33625394)

Show me an honest cop today, and I'll show you a flying pig doing cartwheels next to a unicorn.

This is just a visibility bias. Do you remember the last 10 officers who didn't give you a ticket? But you do remember those who did. There are many honest cops, but they are doing their job and not screwing with citizens so the citizens don't even notice them.

Re:But how precise is it? (5, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | about 4 years ago | (#33625444)

When there's a freeway underpass the city over from mine where they sit on quota day (and it's pretty fucking obvious it's quota day, no time else do you have 10 pigs parked in the underpass breakdown lane waiting in one spot) trading turns on who gets to pull the next guy over on the radar-gun spotter's call until they have all made quota, in a zone where they pull a speed limit 45-25-45-25-45 trick?

The locals all know - unless they forget or are brand new teen drivers - to do no more than 30 through that entire zone, because if you get up to 45, there's no way you can hit the brakes and get down to 25 in that distance without locking your brakes and risking a skid.

It also helps that the locals all have "flood zone" stickers on their cars that serve the "spoken" purpose of allowing them to be in the area during voluntary-evacuation times, but also let the local corrupt pigs know EXACTLY who's from out-of-city for ticketing purposes. I've actually sat in traffic court and watched a city resident get his ticket dropped after a sidebar conversation with the judge about how it was a brand new car and his flood-zone ticket hadn't yet been issued to him.

So I say no, they're ALL corrupt. No "visibility bias" about it.

Re:But how precise is it? (4, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about 4 years ago | (#33625504)

But those "honest" cops KNOW some of their co-workers are not honest cops, they all know of cases where a colleague fudged an arrest report or claimed that a driver crossed the white line when they didn;t actually, because they had a hunch that the driver was not legitotherwise but had no probable cause to stop them, etc., etc., ALL cops know of these things happening from time to time, yet don't arrest them or report the cops to supervisors or testify on behalf of the other cops' victims.

So there are no honest cops.

Re:But how precise is it? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626668)

i remember every single time i've been pulled over. granted i've only been pulled over 5 times in 11 years though.

ticketed twice for speeding, once for no seatbelt. once on the interstate out of state, i was in the middle of a group of cars, we're all speeding a bit, but of course i'm the one pulled over because there's no way i'm going to show up to court out of state. $200 ticket for ~10 over. second speeding ticket, there was a spot on the way home from class where cops always sit to catch people speeding. just down the crest of this hill where the speed limit drops from 50 to 35 as you're going down. usually i was good about slowing down before i crested the hill, but one day i spaced for literally 5 seconds and blam, ticket for 20 over. only $60 though. the no seatbelt ticket, i literally pulled my car out of my driveway, drove less than a block and parked it. the cop pulls up behind me after i park and writes me a ticket for $25.

the two other times i was let go with verbal warnings. first time was reckless driving and no seatbelt, i was 16 and you can bet your ass i remember it. i was driving 75mph down mainstreet where the limit is 25. (lolstupidteenager) when he pulled me over, i pulled into a gas station parking lot and my friend went inside while i talked to the cop. he asked me what the hurry was and i actually told him that my friend was hypoglycemic and needed a candy bar. that guy could have easily fucked my shit up, but he just told me to cut it out. second time i was also 16 and was driving around at 4am without headlights on, the streets are illuminated bright enough and there were zero other cars on the road, so i didn't even notice. anyway, with graduated licensing i wasn't supposed to be driving past like midnight or 11pm, but i had forgotten that rule. the guy was a huge dick to me, basically calling me a liar to my face. his partner was more understanding and probably talked the other guy out of giving me a ticket. in the end they just told us to head straight home.

tl;dr: i remember every time i got pulled over.

Re:But how precise is it? (4, Informative)

bigsteve@dstc (140392) | about 4 years ago | (#33625430)

Read this article: http://www.safemotorist.com/articles/traffic_ticket_quotas.aspx [safemotorist.com] Among other things, it says that traffic fine quotas are explicitly forbidden in most jurisdictions (USA). Of course, you may be in a jurisdiction that doesn't forbid quotas, or where the local police ignore the rules.

My second point, is that individual police officers and the police force typically does not get any direct financial benefit for traffic fines. The collected fines generally goes into general government revenue. (In Australia, it is state or territory revenue.) So unless there is a quota system in place, the typically police have no particular incentive to act as revenue raisers.

My third point is that while traffic fines do raise revenue, appropriate use of speed traps, red light cameras and so on does reduce traffic accidents.

Finally, a long time ago (when speed cameras were new), I worked in the IT department of an Australian state police force. One of the systems that we ran for the police was a radar trap location planner. One of the inputs into that system was localized road accident statistics from the State's department of main roads.

Re:But how precise is it? (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about 4 years ago | (#33625466)

Among other things, it says that traffic fine quotas are explicitly forbidden in most jurisdictions (USA).

And who the fuck is ever going to catch them doing it? The police?

No, they have "spoken but unwritten" quotas. All the law forbids is actually writing a quota down. It doesn't forbid the local government making a budget based on an expected yearly dollar-amount in fines, and then holding the police department responsible for either making quota or having their budget cut. Nor does it forbid them from writing the cops up for "insufficient zeal in traffic enforcement" (actual words they use on the reviews) for failing to meet the unwritten quota.

Again, I ask - who's going to report them or enforce it. The police? Yeah right - protest a quota policy and watch how fast no police department will ever hire you again, because you don't play ball with the corrupt policies. Anyone honest enough to not write fraudulent tickets is never going to move up the ladder, only the dirty ones ever get promoted.

Re:But how precise is it? (3, Insightful)

bigsteve@dstc (140392) | about 4 years ago | (#33625864)

Provide me the evidence. Just because you and a bunch of other people believe it is true, doesn't make it true. If it was really happening to any great extent, there would be evidence. Someone, somewhere would be blowing the whistle. (And I don't believe that all cops are corrupt, any more than I believe that all Americans are god fearing.)

Re:But how precise is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626350)

Provide me the evidence. Just because you and a bunch of other people believe it is true, doesn't make it true. If it was really happening to any great extent, there would be evidence. Someone, somewhere would be blowing the whistle.

I read this recently, but can't remember where. If you google it you'll probably find it.

"A Twitter account named Pigspotter is making big news in South Africa. The traffic authorities in Johannesburg are taking legal action against Pigspotter, an individual who is tweeting up-to-the-minute information about speed traps in and around the city. He has recently stopped, stating that his Blackberry is going in for repairs, but it may be out of fear of getting prosecuted. THE POLICE CLAIM HE MUST BE GETTING INSIDE INFORMATION AND SUSPECT THAT DISGRUNTLED TRAFFIC OFFICERS MAY BE INVOLVED. There is also speculation that it is more than one individual that is tweeting."

Re:But how precise is it? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626438)

http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-05-04/news/the-nypd-tapes-inside-bed-stuy-s-81st-precinct/

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/414/right-to-remain-silent

Just because you and a bunch of other people deny it, doesn't mean it can't happen easily.

Re:But how precise is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626446)

This american life had an a good story on one particular case of rampant corruption in a pd a week or two ago, but if you are waiting for nationwide surveys on how corrupt your pd is behaving, lol.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/414/right-to-remain-silent
http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-05-04/news/the-nypd-tapes-inside-bed-stuy-s-81st-precinct/
http://schoolcraftjustice.com/

Re:But how precise is it? (4, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 4 years ago | (#33625440)

Show me an honest cop today, and I'll show you a flying pig doing cartwheels next to a unicorn.

I was going to show you an honest cop, but I've nothing to gain from it, since he already happens to be flying and doing cartwheels next to a unicorn.

Re:But how precise is it? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625462)

Slashdot really needs a "like" button.

Re:But how precise is it? (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 4 years ago | (#33625592)

the +1 funny mod is for that

Re:But how precise is it? (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about 4 years ago | (#33625470)

The little town I used to live in did this.

There was an expressway that passed through a rural spot of the town. It was in a cut down grade, all local town roads that came near it (very few) passed over it on bridges. So there were NO traffic or safety issues for the town as a result. The town was totally unaffected by this stretch of highway, it was down in a gulch between farm fields, fenced off and inaccessible - essentially a complete other world from the town.

The town used to station cop cars (the town only HAD like 2 cop cars) at some spot near a slight rise and it was a notorious speed trap.

Traffic court was on Thursday night. Every Thursday nights would show our tiny town hall (a historic converted 19th century one-room schoolhouse) with a line of people winding around several times outside. Processed quickly, cha-ching.

A massive revenue stream from people not from the town, who had no idea they were technically IN the town, and whose driving (speeding or not) had absolutely no effect whatsoever on the town, was not even noticeable in the sleepy quiet little town.

The ENTIRE THING was a massive revenue source, and of course when the state moved to raise the speed limit from 55 to higher, the town had a fit, because the highway was under state jurisdiction and therefore the town couldn't set a lower limit for that stretch.

Re:But how precise is it? (4, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about 4 years ago | (#33625576)

I'll just add, before someone accuses me of a sort of bias, saying I'm just a leadfoot who wants to speed without consqeuence... BZZZT, wrong!

I don't drive. I never drive. I have never driven nor owned a car.

The reason? I am disabled and can't.

Why am I disabled? Because when I was a teenager crossing the street as a pedestrian I was struck by a speeding pickup truck driver.

So I think I can reasonably claim that I have no particular bias in favor of traffic scofflaws.

Re:But how precise is it? (1)

hldn (1085833) | about 4 years ago | (#33626682)

i've seen people without arms drive cars. i'm sure you could drive if you wanted to.

Re:But how precise is it? (1)

secolactico (519805) | about 4 years ago | (#33626280)

Traffic court was on Thursday night. Every Thursday nights would show our tiny town hall (a historic converted 19th century one-room schoolhouse) with a line of people winding around several times outside. Processed quickly, cha-ching.

Unless you were a country singer, in that case you had to spend an evening singing at the Boar's Nest.

Re:But how precise is it? (0, Troll)

c6gunner (950153) | about 4 years ago | (#33625484)

Show me an honest cop today, and I'll show you a flying pig doing cartwheels next to a unicorn.

The fact that an asshole like you is still alive, relatively non-handicapped, and free to roam the streets, tells me all I need to know about the honesty of cops.

Re:But how precise is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625502)

Here in Johannesburg, ALL the cops are corrupt. They are always very reluctant to actually ticket you -- they just want hard cash. This is for any excuse under the sun. If you have the cash, they will happily let you off if you are driving (very) drunk, if they search your car and have drugs, or virtually anything. The more serious the offence, the happier they are, because they make more money. One thing they have no interest in doing is actually preventing crime, because this is a disincentive directly linked to their bottom line.

For every speedtrap and redlight trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625534)

I rise you a life saving redlight and well placed radar near SCHHOLS. I dunno if it is specific to germany, but ehre around the place where the radar are , are the place where people speed, and it is known to be dangerous. Same reason why a lot of circle-crossing were added, they reduced strongly the amount of accidents.

Re:But how precise is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625552)

My dad was a cop, and he was very honest.

Where is my unicorn?

Re:But how precise is it? (2, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#33625632)

It's not about safety. It's about money

So, if it's about money, then just drive at the speed limit and screw them out of the money. If everybody did this, then the cameras would disappear because revenue would dry up (assuming it is about money).

Re:But how precise is it? (1)

Moryath (553296) | about 4 years ago | (#33625672)

If only it were that easy.

The point of "speed traps" is that you can be going the speed limit one moment, and they set up a situation where you can't POSSIBLY - at least not without risking a serious wreck - slow down to the new limit in time, or else you're on a road switch and the new limit is posted "down the road."

Likewise with the yellow-light timing; they shorten it enough, and even people who couldn't possibly stop (at least, again, not without risking someone running into them from behind) get caught mid-intersection anyways. I've measured yellow times as short as 1.75 seconds in my area on a 40mph road.

In some US states, the police officers are "certified to estimate speed", usually with a bullshit claim that these guys are accurate to within 3mph or so. So they can lie their asses off if they see out-of-town/out-of-state plates and stickers, claim they "estimated" you at 10 over the limit, and just write the tickets all fucking day. No radar gun, no certification that the radar gun is calibrated properly, just their corrupt lying word against yours, and a judge in their pocket since his pay is coming from the traffic fine revenue pot too.

It's like operating a "toll road", they just pull people over at random, lie their asses off, and collect fines/fees/etc. And again, who's going to stop them - the police?

Re:But how precise is it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626390)

Or the speed limits would get lowered, or they would make the limits as confusing as possible to catch some people out etc. When it's about money, governments don't just give up.

Re:But how precise is it? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 years ago | (#33625732)

There's a spot I know of ~100 miles north of me where a highway marked at 65 off-ramps onto another highway marked at 60. The change in speed isn't marked at the top of the ramp, however, but 3 miles down the road instead. Local sheriffs LOVE to sit at the top of the hill and watch for people doing 65-70, who don't know about the speed change, and then cite them tickets.

In other words, a supposed change of the speed limit isn't properly marked... someone should be able to take this to court and have their ticket overturned on these grounds, then maybe the DOT will mark it properly.

Ultimate solution (1)

srussia (884021) | about 4 years ago | (#33625734)

No speed limits

Safety: Dangerous drivers will eventually kill themselves off. Let natural selection follow its course. There will be collateral damage at the start, but things will eventually get better.

Money: The state gets dead at-fault drivers' estate. No camera costs, minimal enforcement expense.

Freedom: Everyone gets to go at the speed they're comfortable with.

Re:But how precise is it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625818)

"The change in speed isn't marked at the top of the ramp, however, but 3 miles down the road instead. Local sheriffs LOVE to sit at the top of the hill and watch for people doing 65-70, who don't know about the speed change, and then cite them tickets."

That can't be legal, but I bet the local court gives you the runaround if you try to get justice on that.

Re:But how precise is it? (1)

khchung (462899) | about 4 years ago | (#33626366)

The stupidity is letting the police Dept pcket the fines. Instead, like some other sane places, all fines should go to the country/state/city budget, mixed up with all other taxes. This remove all incentives for police to create speed traps in the first place and focus on reducing traffic accidents instead.

Re:But how precise is it? (1)

caluml (551744) | about 4 years ago | (#33626460)

There's a spot I know of ~100 miles north of me where a highway marked at 65 off-ramps onto another highway marked at 60. The change in speed isn't marked at the top of the ramp, however, but 3 miles down the road instead. Local sheriffs LOVE to sit at the top of the hill and watch for people doing 65-70, who don't know about the speed change, and then cite them tickets.

So you appeal, go to court, and get it overturned?

Re:But how precise is it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626690)

Dude, after reading your post history, you clearly have some sort of serious axe to grind with the cops.

Yeah, it sucks when you get a speeding ticket from a cop, but there are also there to help you when you need it, too. If you only watch videos of cops on YouTube you might think they are corrupt, but reality is different...

Moving the camera ? (2, Interesting)

thrill12 (711899) | about 4 years ago | (#33625304)

I think you are overstating the ease with which a camera may be moved. A speed camera has to be aligned exactly (angle/height/equipment etc) to measure the correct and valid speed of a passing vehicle. You cannot simply move it within a few minutes lest your measurements are out of bounds and any ticket you write is invalid - for people that have the energy to fight it before court, that is. I know that is the situation here in The Netherlands at least.
Actually, announcing speed traps is sometimes done by the police themselves here, and transmitted using a system called "TMC [wikipedia.org] " (traffic message channel). Additionally, radio channels ask people to report them and announce them on RDS.
But in the end, some speed traps are never announced or the announcement is never received: last week, there was a motor driver who died as a result of a car braking for a speed [google.com] trap. This could stir up debate that police, like in for example Sweden, are forced to announce the speed trap before it actually occurs.

Re:Moving the camera ? (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#33625616)

I think you are overstating the ease with which a camera may be moved. A speed camera has to be aligned exactly (angle/height/equipment etc) to measure the correct and valid speed of a passing vehicle. You cannot simply move it within a few minutes

Sure you can - they have car-mounted units and hand-held units. The car-mounted ones can even snap you while the police car is traveling at high speed in the opposite direction. It's not like accurate speed detection is difficult.

Re:But how precise is it? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33625458)

Doesn't matter what the cops like. In a "free" country, any information that is not classified "secret" or "confidential" for security reasons can be freely discussed. If the cops can shut you up, then it's not a "free" country. It hardly matters whether I tell verbally, or by radio, or by tweeting where the cops are. It's my RIGHT to discuss whatever I may see or hear.

This exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626160)

What the police might not like is a distributed iphone or android app which broadcasts their location in real time and presents it on a map showing your location. You could have "Police Camera" button on the screen and press it after you go past.

Look at trapster.com and the associated iPhone app -- does exactly that.

Re:But how precise is it? (1)

lattyware (934246) | about 4 years ago | (#33626578)

In the UK, they have to tell us where they are, put up signs warning us there are speed cameras (or that the police set up speed traps) along that road, and paint the speed cameras bright orange. The idea is that the speed cameras cause people to slow down, not catch people going fast.
The problem was that speed cameras are simply raking in too much profit, so they were seen as being there for the wrong reasons, now they have changed it, and local councils don't get funding for speed cameras and stuff. Now they instead are putting up signs that simply flash the speed limit at you if you are going over it, which are apparently more successful than speed cameras in making people slow down. They are also doing more 'average speed' cameras, rather than grabbing you at one moment in time.

Diplomatic Immunity... (1)

lewko (195646) | about 4 years ago | (#33625210)

...Has been revoked.

RT (1)

clinko (232501) | about 4 years ago | (#33625220)

@Pigspotter Behind You.

Keeping us Safe... (4, Insightful)

lewko (195646) | about 4 years ago | (#33625224)

South Africa has the highest homicide rate in the world.

It's good to know that the police are concentrating on fast driving.

No doubt an increasingly broke and hopeless government has learned how to make more money. Err... I mean, save lives.

Re:Keeping us Safe... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625520)

In fairness to these cops - they are the metro police, as in traffic police, they are not "real" cops although you wouldn't be able to tell the difference by their arrogance. Which is why they had to go lay a charge of criminal injuria with the real cops.

Re:Keeping us Safe... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#33625540)

Well, second highest after Columbia.

Re:Keeping us Safe... (1)

treeves (963993) | about 4 years ago | (#33625630)

Wait , are you telling me that a sportswear company has a higher homicide rate than South Africa?

Re:Keeping us Safe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626370)

Don't be silly. He's talking about the pretentious gang-banger university.

Re:Keeping us Safe... (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | about 4 years ago | (#33626670)

Don't they also have a much higher road fatality rate than other developed countries?

avoid contact with the police force (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625238)

In South Africa it is best to avoid contact with the police force. In my personal experience I have found them threatening and racist.

Stopping at a roadblock risks getting hijacked by the Police.

Recently a Springbok was also stopped by the Police, details have not been released but many people speculate that the cop hijacked the civilian, extorted money and forced the man to drive to his house, where the officer would have raped his wife and killed the man. Sounds far fetched?

http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2009/10/police-reports-oct-27-2009.html [blogspot.com]

Re:avoid contact with the police force (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 4 years ago | (#33625256)

Recently a Springbok was also stopped by the Police

They must been hungry [wikipedia.org] .

Free Speech? (2, Interesting)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | about 4 years ago | (#33625244)

Freedom of Speech, you either have it or you don't... Although, I suppose this particular case is a little sticky. Do you think that when people are actively trying to avoid law enforcement, their speech is still protected? I side with the idea that it should still be protected. If someone posts a list labeled "100 best places to drop dead bodies off where they'll never be found", I don't think they've done anything wrong. At least not by posting the list, their research methods may be in question.

I suppose if it turns out that the tweeter is in fact a cop then they have all the right to fire him as I'm sure it is a breech of contract. But otherwise he/she should have the right. Johannesburg just needs to find better methods and stop their internal leaks, don't take it out on the messenger. Of course, I don't know what the actual laws of Johannesburg are, I'm just considering what they should be.

Racism? For real? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625264)

On aspect of TFA struck me as awfully peculiar:

One thing is for certain, though: PigSpotter has deeply offended senior members of the JMPD. Some openly accused him of racism yesterday.

"This guy's use of words such as 'pigs' and 'bacon rashers' is alarming because you find that most of these officers are black and he is white. Why is nobody talking about this?" a police source said yesterday.

Is this a South Africanism, the notion of 'pig' being a racial epithet? As an American, 'pig' is a not at all uncommon term for the police; less polite perhaps than 'po-po' or 'Five Oh', but certainly nothing racial. Or is this merely a vague attempt to villify the guy, since the police know they're not exactly going to get the citizenry rallying behind them on this?

Re:Racism? For real? (5, Informative)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 4 years ago | (#33625400)

Dude, its Africa. I've lived in Africa all my life, and people crying "racism" is very normal here. Its just another way of saying, "We don't like what you're doing and the easiest way to get you to go away is to call you a racist and then everyone will hate you."

It's all very childish. But that's African Politics for you. It is also sad that it distracts from the real racism that nobody ever notices...

Re:Racism? For real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625452)

Agreed, the really sad thing is that the people crying "racism" are usually the ones that really are racist.

Re:Racism? For real? (1)

supermies (1150423) | about 4 years ago | (#33626416)

Interestingly enough, if you replace "Africa" with "America", you still have an accurate statement.

Re:Racism? For real? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625424)

The ruling majority (ANC) are incapable of: (1) Handling any criticism (2) Arguing/debating in a rational manner
Thanks to our recent history (apartheid) they are left with a large uneducated mass of people who remember only one thing (how bad "racism" is) and will believe what they are told without question. So anytime someone attempts to criticize or make a suggestion on how to do things in a sane way they are simply labeled as a racist and ignored. Due to the unquestioning stupidity of the masses this works every single time leaving little incentive for our utterly useless government to ever improve.

"Racist" here is the equivalent of accusing someone of being a "pedophile" in America, except on sterioids.

Re:Racism? For real? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625550)

Mod parent up, this is sooooooo true!

Re:Racism? For real? (4, Informative)

beuges (613130) | about 4 years ago | (#33625482)

It is a South Africanism, in that everything here gets turned into a race issue whether it has anything to do with race or not. Despite the fall of apartheid and having a democratically elected government, the new 'leadership' still has a vested interest in creating the perception that whites are still out to get blacks - it's a nice diversion to distract their voters away from the government's corruption and hypocrisy. Everything the ANC seems to do these days creates the impression that they deliberately keep their own supporters beaten down in order to retain their support, blaming the supporters misfortune on racism and 'the legacy of apartheid'. I get the impression that we'll still be blaming apartheid in another 50 years time... that is assuming that the ANC doesn't finally give up all pretenses and just publicly turn the country into another Zimbabwe, rather than trying to do it behind the scenes.

An unfortunate side-effect of the continuous cry of racism is that a (hopefully small and insignificant) number of the youth of today are growing up indoctrinated with the belief that everything is still a race issue. A key example of this is the leader of the ANC youth league, Julius Malema. While he's generally ridiculed universally for his stupid utterances and ridiculous beliefs, the sad reality is that he actually believes in what the rest of us consider to be drivel. And he is poised to rise into the leadership of the ANC and therefore the country within the next decade or two.

Every time you read a report of something being connected to racism in South Africa, take it with a grain of salt. Yes, there is still a lot of racism going on, but it's the same sort that you experience anywhere else... nowhere near what we used to have. It's sad to see the ANC that fought so hard to end apartheid is now working so hard to ensure that it prevails.

Re:Racism? For real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626134)

South Africa is by far the most advanced county in Africa. It's also the one that was most recently under white rule. Coincidence? I think not.

Re:Racism? For real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626590)

You've just described America. That's the same trick being used here; when someone says something you don't like hearing, accuse them of racism. Fostering divisiveness is a standard governmental tactic...keeps people from uniting behind one commonality, and starting another Revolutionary war.

Lifting the Lid on the Guilty Yid (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625276)

The liberals got it exactly right. For years now they’ve been telling us how “vibrant” mass immigration has made stale, pale White societies. Well, London was certainly vibrating on 7th July and that got me thinking: What else have the liberals got right? Mass immigration “enriches” us too, they’ve always said. Is that “enrich” as in “enriched uranium”, an excellent way of making atom bombs? Because that’s what comes next: a weapon of real mass destruction that won’t kill people in piffling dozens but in hundreds of thousands or millions. Bye-bye London, bye-bye Washington, bye-bye Tel Aviv.

I’m not too sure I’d shed a tear if the last-named went up in a shower of radioactive cinders, but Tel Aviv is actually the least likely of the three to be hit. What’s good for you ain’t good for Jews, and though Jews have striven mightily, and mighty successfully, to turn White nations into multi-racial fever-swamps, mass immigration has passed the Muzzerland safely by. And mass immigration is the key to what happened in London. You don’t need a sophisticated socio-political analysis taking in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Jewish control of Anglo-American foreign policy, British colonialism, and fifteen centuries of Christian-Muslim conflict. You can explain the London bombs in five simple words:

Pakis do not belong here.

And you can sum up how to prevent further London bombs – and worse – in three simple words:

PAKI GO HOME.

At any time before the 1950s, brown-skinned Muslim terrorists would have found it nearly impossible to plan and commit atrocities on British soil, because they would have stood out like sore thumbs in Britain’s overwhelmingly White cities. Today, thanks to decades of mass immigration, it’s often Whites who stand out like sore thumbs. Our cities swarm with non-whites full of anti-White grievances and hatreds created by Judeo-liberal propaganda. And let’s forget the hot air about how potential terrorists and terrorist sympathizers are a “tiny minority” of Britain’s vibrant, peace-loving Muslim “community”.

Even if that’s true, a tiny minority of 1.6 million (2001 estimate) is a hell of a lot of people, and there’s very good reason to believe it isn’t true. Tony Blair has tried to buy off Britain’s corrupt and greedy “moderate” Muslims with knighthoods and public flattery, but his rhetoric about the “religion of peace” wore thin long ago. After the bombings he vowed, with his trademark bad actor’s pauses, that we will... not rest until... the guilty men are identified... and as far... as is humanly possible... brought to justice for this... this murderous carnage... of the innocent.

His slimy lawyer’s get-out clause – “as far as is humanly possible” – was soon needed. Unlike Blair and his pal Dubya in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bombers were prepared not only to kill the innocent but to die themselves as they did so. And to laugh at the prospect: they were captured on CCTV sharing a joke about the limbs and heads that would shortly be flying. Even someone as dim as Blair must know you’ve got a big problem on your hands when there are over 1.6 million people in your country following a religion like that.

If he doesn’t know, there are plenty of Jewish journalists who will point it out for him. There’s the neo-conservative Melanie Phillips in Britain, for example, who never met an indignant adverb she didn’t like, and the neo-conservative Mark Steyn in Canada, who never met an indignant Arab he didn’t kick. Reading their hard-hitting columns on Muslim psychosis, I was reminded of a famous scene in Charles Dickens’ notoriously anti-Semitic novel Oliver Twist (1839). The hero watches the training of the villainous old Jew Fagin put into action by the Artful Dodger:

What was Oliver’s horror and alarm to see the Dodger plunge his hand into the old gentleman’s pocket, and draw from thence a handkerchief! To see him hand the same to Charley Bates; and finally to behold them both running away round the corner at full speed! He stood for a moment tingling from terror; then, confused and frightened, he took to his heels and made off as fast as he could lay his feet to the ground.
In the very instant when Oliver began to run, the old gentleman, putting his hand to his pocket, and missing his handkerchief, turned sharp round. Seeing the boy scudding away, he very naturally concluded him to be the depredator; and shouting “Stop thief!” with all his might, made off after him. But the old gentleman was not the only person who raised the hue-and-cry. The Dodger and Master Bates, unwilling to attract public attention by running down the open street, had merely retired into the very first doorway round the corner. They no sooner heard the cry, and saw Oliver running, than, guessing exactly how the matter stood, they issued forth with great promptitude; and, shouting “Stop thief!” too, joined in the pursuit like good citizens.

“Wicked Muslims!” our two Jewish Artful Dodgers are shouting. “Can’t you see how they hate the West and want to destroy us?” Well, yes, we can, but some of us can also see who the original West-haters are. Mark Steyn claims not to be Jewish, but his ancestry shines through time after time in his writing. Above all, there’s his dishonesty. One week he’s mocking anti-Semites for claiming that the tiny nation of Israel could have such a powerful influence for bad on the world’s affairs. The following week he’s praising the British Empire for having had such a powerful influence for good. You know, the world-bestriding British Empire – as created by a tiny nation called Britain.

If the Brits could do it openly and honestly, Mr Steyn, why can’t the yids do it by fraud and deception? And the yids have done it, of course. They’ve run immigration policy and “race relations” in Europe and America since the 1960s, and Steyn is very fond of pointing out what’s in store for Europe as our Jew-invited non-white guests grow in number and really start to show their appreciation of our hospitality.

Funnily enough, I’ve never seen him point out that the same is in store for North America, which has its own rapidly growing non-white swarms. And when Steyn launches one of his regular attacks on the lunacies of multi-culturalism and anti-racism, a central fact always somehow seems to escape his notice. He recently once again bemoaned the psychotic “Western self-loathing” that has such a “grip on the academy, the media, the Congregational and Episcopal Churches, the ‘arts’ and Hollywood”. Exhibit one: the multi-culti, hug-the-world, “Let’s all be nice to the Muslims” memorial for 9/11. This was his list of those responsible for it:

Tom Bernstein... Michael Posner... Eric Foner... George Soros...
Well, that’s a Jew, a Jew, a Jew, and a Jew – sounds like a lampshade collector showing off his Auschwitz shelf. But fearless “Tell It Like It Is” Steyn, ever-ready to mock the “racial sensitivity” of deluded liberals, is himself very sensitive about race when it comes to the Chosen Ones. He’ll kick dark-skinned Muslims and their liberal appeasers till the sacred cows come home and he can start kicking them too, but just like Melanie Phillips he never whispers a word about the Jews who created liberal appeasement or about the enormous power Jews wield in “the academy, the media, the 'arts', and Hollywood”.

The same is true of all other Jewish “conservatives”. They’re shouting “Stop thief!” at the top of their voices and hoping that no-one will notice that they all belong to the biggest race of thieves who ever existed. Those bombs went off in London because Jews have stolen large parts of Britain from their rightful White inhabitants and handed them over to the non-white followers of a psychotic alien religion. When non-whites commit more and worse atrocities in future, you won’t need to ask who’s really responsible: it’s liberal Jews like Tom Bernstein and George Soros, who organize mass immigration and the anti-racism industry, and “conservative” Jews like Mark Steyn and Melanie Phillips, who distract White attention from the racial motives of Jews like Soros and Bernstein. Heads they win, tails we lose – liberal, “conservative”, they’re all of them Jews.

What crime, exactly? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 years ago | (#33625310)

I mean, it's kind of vague. They say he's suspected to be geting inside info, but I'm pretty sure you can't win a case on suspiscion alone.

Re:What crime, exactly? (1)

cappp (1822388) | about 4 years ago | (#33625348)

TFA says he's being charged with 3 seperate offences, namley:

Criminal charges of defeating the ends of justice, crimen injuria and defamation

. As far as I can tell two of the charges link to the name calling - defamation and crimen injuria.

Crimen injuria is a crime under South African common law, defined to be the act of "unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another." Although difficult to precisely define, the crime is used in the prosecution of certain instances of road rage, stalking, racially offensive language, emotional or psychological abuse and sexual offences against children.

TFA seems to put quite a lot of weight on the purported racial overtones used in the messages which would account for both the dignity claims.

The "defeating" claim is a little less obvious. A South African legal overview site provided the following [legalcity.net]

There is no firm definition of what makes up 'defeating', also referred to as 'obstructing', in the context of this offence...Generally, the offence is described as committing an unlawful act intended to defeat or obstruct the administration of justice. The act must be unlawful, because there are a number of ways in which, it may be argued, the administration of justice can be obstructed without a crime being committed. A 'false' plea of 'not guilty', for instance, is not unlawful, nor is it unlawful to refuse to respond to a police request to assist in making an arrest....

Obstructing the police by, for instance, laying false charges, making false statements, refusing to answer questions or provide information and, generally 'frustrating' police activities. In the case of frustrating police activities, the court would have to distinguish between an act that interfered with the administration of justice and an act that interfered with the enforcement of law. Punishment for defeating or obstructing the administration of justice, or even for the attempt to do so, is frequently severe, and may consist of a fine or imprisonment, or both.

So it would seem to require that the act of communicating the location of these cameras would need to be classified as frustrating police activities. If there are any South African legal specialists around their input would be welcomed.

Cab company stooge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625332)

Surely it's a guy working at a cab company.

oh that's what I need (1, Flamebait)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 4 years ago | (#33625358)

I know everyone's ususally like "booo police, yaaay speeding" but seriously, do we really need a coordinated system that basically encourages and allows people to ride my ass in the fast lane when I'm already going 10 over then pass me at like 100 MPH? No! Why? Are they a professional Nascar driver? NO AGAIN! Unless your piece of crap Prius is out of control, leave earlier if you're in such a damn hurry instead of driving like a maniac with a stopping distance of like a mile. That's pretty damn unsafe.
What they need is a system for tweeting about assholes in crappy, unsafe cars driving in crappy, unsafe way to the police so they can cut up their drivers licenses.

Re:oh that's what I need (5, Informative)

penguinchris (1020961) | about 4 years ago | (#33625436)

I'm not disagreeing with you, but if you're in the fast lane and someone is going faster than you, the right thing to do is to move over if you can and let them pass. The other guy's an asshole, yes, but by not moving out of his way you can only make it worse, and that makes you an asshole too.

Laws vary by location, but generally it's considered that the "fast lane" isn't the lane you use when you're going over the speed limit, it's the lane you use for passing. Assuming we're not talking heavy traffic (or southern California), you should never just be cruising along in the fast/passing lane... if you're not actively passing someone, stick to one of the "slow" lanes.

The other guy could pass you on the right, but that's usually illegal and a much more dangerous situation. Moving out of the way is as much a safety thing as a not-being-an-asshole thing.

Re:oh that's what I need (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 4 years ago | (#33625602)

What they need is a system for tweeting about assholes in crappy, unsafe cars driving in crappy, unsafe way to the police so they can cut up their drivers licenses.

Good idea. Next time you post something I disagree with, I can just drive by your house, tweet your license plate to the cops, and have your life sufficiently destroyed that you never bother me again.

No, seriously, this is how the world works. That's what all those political scandals on TV are about: politicians employing the law to get rid of other politicians who are no longer deemed useful. Please don't encourage it.

do not feel bad for you (2, Insightful)

pat sajak (1368465) | about 4 years ago | (#33625402)

ffs is it so hard not to speed? unless you have a woman in labor in your vehicle what is your excuse really?

Re:do not feel bad for you (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 4 years ago | (#33625618)

Speeding is a very human thing to do. It's natural for people to want to test their limits. If you've never driven any faster than X, you can never be confident about driving at X. Only when you know you can handle X+10, do you feel really able to handle X. It's human nature, and it should be catered for, not stamped out.

Yes it is (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 4 years ago | (#33625836)

What you got to remember is that the world is filled with people with very small penisses who can only think of the world as them vs the state and everyone else.

They think their car is a source of income for the state when even the simplest look at the figures will show that cars COST the state far more then they pay in road taxes and such things. This in itself is not a problem. Society needs roads and transport but if you start to base your political outlook on a basic misconception (road taxes meet the costs of road construction and maintenance) it all goes wrong. Because then you start thinking that public transport, school and medical facilities must be paid for by their users as well. And not by your traffic fines.

Even if traffic fines were a serious source of income, as in not just meeting the costs of police but deliviring more! then who cares? What do I care for a tax for assholes. Don't be an asshole and you are not taxed.

But as you see from the majority of reactions, a lot of people are assholes and come up with bizarre explanations of why they should be allowed to speed.

It has been proven time and time again that if everybody drove the same speed, as indicated by people who are smarter then you, traffic would flow a lot more smoothly. The ultimate example was given a few years ago in a simulation with cars crossing each other on a busy level intersection with no trouble whatsoever.

The problem with speeding is NOT wether you can or cannot handle it, but if everyone else on the same road can. Considering cars are the biggest killer out there, it seems clear that people can't.

But don't worry, the police are all corrupt, you can drive 50 miles over the speed limit and when you kill someone you just shrug it off as an accident.

Because nobody is reponsible for their own actions and should never face the consequences. Oh and if someone dares to slam their car door in front of your house, the swat team should be called out and a speedbump the height of everest installed to slow those demons down.

Re:Yes it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626630)

The only reason cars cost the government more is because of the fraud waste and abuse in the system.

Also on topic, these charges are an obvious violation of this tweeter's first amendment rights. Headed down this path, all tweets will have to be state approved before being posted.

Posting anon to keep moderation.

Do people still flash lights in the US? (3, Interesting)

penguinchris (1020961) | about 4 years ago | (#33625454)

When I was a kid I remember one of my parents telling me about people flashing their lights on the highway (I-90 thruway in NY) to warn of upcoming hidden police cars, I guess because I noticed someone doing it and asked why. Since that day, though, I don't think I've ever seen anyone do it again, and I've done a lot of highway driving (for my age anyway - driven across the US about five times, and lots of driving in between and at either end). I decided to do it once when I spotted a police car on the opposite side, but I think the people going the same way I was thought I was signaling them instead or indicating that I had a problem or something. Hard to tell since it doesn't seem to be a universal speed trap signal anymore.

Is it regional? Are there still places where this signal is common knowledge? I ask because the slashdot department line mentions this, and I haven't heard of it since I was a kid, as I said.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625526)

Most people in Australia tend to flash if/when they see a cop for several km either side...

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (2, Funny)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 4 years ago | (#33625578)

But the risk is you might get fined for indecent exposure....

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 4 years ago | (#33625596)

Isn't that hard to do whilst driving mate?

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 4 years ago | (#33625564)

I do it, but I think I've only seen others do it a couple times. I'm not sure the people going the other way even understand what I'm "saying" to them.

In Missouri, so it's (sort of) known in the Midwest.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625574)

I saw it used Russia, I see it in Israel. I did it once to a car, and as it was approaching I saw that it had a police number plate - one of those "ACK!" moments of life (nothing happened). So it should be more or less universal.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 4 years ago | (#33625624)

I saw that it had a police number plate

How do you recognise these (even if you're not in my country)?

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625902)

In Israel the police has red background plates instead of plain yellow ones, and an addition letter "m" ("mishtarah" = "police") at a beginning:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_registration_plates_of_Israel [wikipedia.org]

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625942)

In my country police plates are blue while other are white. also police plates begin with P.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (4, Informative)

Vegeta99 (219501) | about 4 years ago | (#33625586)

I think most have given up. There was a recent case in PA where the judiciary made it specifically legal to do in the daylight, but at night, you can be cited for wrongful use of high beams.

I still do it, but nobody else does. When I was a kid, everyone still did it, but by the time I got my license, nobody did (I'm 24).

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | about 4 years ago | (#33625614)

I clarify: As far as I know, nobody has taken a ticket for illegal high beams far enough for a court to form an opinion on it. But the PA Supreme Court seems to be pretty liberal, a young guy just fought a ticket on the tint law. The law states you must not have tint that prevents someone from seeing inside, but regulation stated 70% translucency - the cops get out the meter, and if you're below that, you got a ticket. The cop could read 8pt font on the NY Times in the front seat, so the Supreme Court let it pass. IIRC, it was 35% translucent. That's what I have now that I live in AZ, with 5% in the back windows/windshield. 35% really isn't horribly dark. However, the limo tint in the back windows makes it hard to see a moron on a bike without a light behind you or a car with its lights off at night.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (1)

HeadlessNotAHorseman (823040) | about 4 years ago | (#33626036)

The technique is known in Australia. At times I flash my lights at people even when there are no cops around, in the hope that if people are speeding they will at least slow down for a while (since there is a statistical correlation between speed and rate of accidents).

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (1)

duk242 (1412949) | about 4 years ago | (#33625788)

In Australia, this is illegal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headlight_flashing#Australia [wikipedia.org] You should still do it in case of an accident however to warn people coming up about it.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (1)

ex0duz (903649) | about 4 years ago | (#33625912)

Only in one state(QLD). And yet 40-60% of drivers still do it. Gotta love Australia.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (1)

duk242 (1412949) | about 4 years ago | (#33625954)

Are you sure it's only QLD? The wiki page references only point to QLD sources but doesn't say that it's not illegal in other states...

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (1)

Inda (580031) | about 4 years ago | (#33625854)

Thumbs-down in the UK; just by the wing mirror. Flashing lights can mean so much, or so little.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626078)

Thumbs-down in the UK; just by the wing mirror. Flashing lights can mean so much, or so little.

I've been driving in the UK for over 10 years. Flashing lights to oncoming traffic is seen, IMHO, as "beware". This could mean "cops around the corner" or it could mean "jam ahead" or "accident over the hill" or something. In any case, slowing down takes care of all of that.

I've NEVER ever seen or heard of "thumbs down"....

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625866)

I've seen it in France on the 'peage'.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625886)

UK has a tradition of using your hazard warning lights - one quick flash - for it, which actually evolved into it being not only an accepted signal for "Look out, I've slowed down a lot, quickly" but even got into the highway code as being such.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625908)

As a resident of a podunk, midwest town, I flash my headlights to warn other motorists of anything that requires heightened attention (such as deer). Many other motorists do the same in my area. If there is a motorist a fair distance behind me, I'll briefly flash my hazards to alert them as well.

As an additional rationality to doing this, even if the other motorist is unaware of this custom, the act of doing it will usually cause them to wonder why I did it (and therefore exercise extra caution).

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (1)

Purist (716624) | about 4 years ago | (#33626388)

I was just spared a ticked this past weekend by someone flashing the high beams to warn me of a speed trap. Luckily, I knew what it meant. It's nice to see motorists working together for a change, rather than flipping one another the bird!

However, there are laws in many locales now that prohibit flashing high beams and warning oncoming traffic of a police presence.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33626554)

In Switzerland about 30% of the car drivers do it and around 90% of the motorbike drivers. In fact I drove YEARS far too fast with my motorbike and never got a single fine for speeding, thanks to this early warning system.

Re:Do people still flash lights in the US? (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | about 4 years ago | (#33626616)

No, they're too busy twittering.

- RG>

Not needed for the safest roads in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625636)

The safest roads in the world [blogspot.com] are here in the Netherlands - where the national FM radio stations tell drivers where speed traps are located.

free speech (1)

matushorvath (972424) | about 4 years ago | (#33625678)

Ah, the ultimate free speech test. Can you talk about things that government does not like? Will SA pass? Stay tuned.

Normal practice in holland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33625972)

In holland speed traps get reported on the radio. Where, when etc. It possibly more effective than handing out fines to speeders, and we don't like the police trying to make money off of maintaining justice.

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